This website is intended to help you work through your IAT 103W research assignments.

If you need help, please contact Matt Kingcroft, Librarian for Interactive Arts & Technology and Publishing at 778.782.7588 or matthew_kingcroft@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.

 Exploring your topic

Using encyclopedias or other reference books can give you general summaries as a background to your topic. This will help you with the big picture of your topic and provides a foundation for further research.

Here are some online reference books that might include background information on your topic:

 Finding books and articles

Books tend to give you a better overview of topics, as well as including more specific information. Articles are generally more specific than books and tend to focus on a certain aspect of a topic. 

Use the SFU Library Catalogue to search for books & articles at the same time. After your initial search, you can use the left side of the screen to limit your results by format, date, location, and so on. 

You can also use Databases to find more results and search for subject-specific articles.

Here's a list of databases you could try for your assignment:

Multidisciplinary databases

Academic Search Complete
Includes articles from a range of academic journals and popular magazines. Covers a broad range of topics.

Web of Science
Articles from scholarly journals in scientific fields.

Humanities and Social Sciences Index
Includes articles from a wide range of academic journals in the social sciences and humanities. Good for almost any topic.

CBCA Complete
Articles from Canadian sources, including some scholarly journals, business magazines, and popular news magazines and newspapers. Good for learning about the 'Canadian' angle to any question.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar enables you to search for scholarly literature, from broad areas of research though mostly in the science and technology fields. Searching is not as focused as in the other article databases.

Subject-specific databases

PsycINFO
Scholarly articles from psychology journals. Good for any topic with a psychology angle.

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Scholarly journal articles from the fields of communications, mass media, linguistics and film.

Design and Applied Arts Index
Covers designers and the development of design and the applied arts

Education Source
Education and education-related journal articles.

ACM Digital Library
Academic articles from the Association for Computing Machinery. Mostly "hard-core" computer science, but some material on computing & society.

Business Source Complete
Articles from over 3700 business journals in all business areas, at least 1000 of which are scholarly/peer-reviewed.

CINAHL Complete
Scholarly and popular articles on a wide range of health topics.

 Evaluating your sources

It is important to understand the differences in the types of publications you will encounter.

See SFU Library's What is a scholarly (or peer-reviewed) journal? guide to help you distinguish between popular magazines, scholarly journals, and trade publications. For a more detailed overview of the peer review process, see the Library's What is a peer-reviewed journal? FAQ.

To help you evaluate information you find on the internet, see SFU Library's guide to Finding and evaluating resources on the web.

 Help with writing your paper

The Student Learning Commons has peer tutors available to help with writing your paper. Learn about more about their in-person and online services (workshops, handouts, virtual consultations, and more).

 Using APA to cite your sources

It's important to cite your sources, so that:

  • Your reader can locate the sources you used for your paper
  • To give credit to the people whose research and ideas you used in your paper

APA style guides:

If the document you are trying to cite is not included in either of these APA guides, try the APA Style Blog or consult the latest edition of the APA Publication Manual.

 Information about plagiarism and how to avoid it

  • Plagiarism - Find out about plagiarism and learn techniques for avoiding it.
  • Take the SFU Library interactive tutorial Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism to test yourself and to learn more about plagiarism.
  • Take the SFU Library interactive tutorial on Academic Integrity to test yourself and learn more about broader issues surrounding academic honesty.